0980: "Money"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

mhuben
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:11 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby mhuben » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

It would be a great addition to the trillions category if you included ecosystem services. It's a topic much neglected when calculating production.

The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital
by R Costanza, R D'Arge, R De Groot, S Farber, M Grasso, et al.
Abstract
The services of ecological systems and the natural capital stocks that produce them are critical to the functioning of the Earth's life-support system. They contribute to human welfare, both directly and indirectly, and therefore represent part of the total economic value of the planet. We have estimated the current economic value of 17 ecosystem services for 16 biomes, based on published studies and a few original calculations. For the entire biosphere, the value (most of which is outside the market) is estimated to be in the range of US$16-54 trillion (1012) per year, with an average of US$33 trillion per year. Because of the nature of the uncertainties, this must be considered a minimum estimate. Global gross national product total is around US$18 trillion per year.

gressc1
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:17 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby gressc1 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:39 pm UTC

the cost of a faux green dress not included??


As long as we're geeking out on Barenaked Ladies:
Monkey (haven't you always wanted a monkey?): $4000
Art:
Picasso - Most over a $1m so, I'm buying you a...
Garfunkel - (Front Center seats [priced from an upcoming March 2012 concert] for a year @ 76.75 per ticket) $28013

But still... Props for using BNL in such an exhausting effort.

jimmie
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 10:06 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby jimmie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:01 pm UTC

Both the Double eagle coin and the Treskilling yellow are mistakenly listed as $83,710,000 - the value of that Chinese Vase thingie. The number of blocks seems more in line.

User avatar
Ghandi 2
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Ghandi 2 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:09 pm UTC

Telchar wrote:
Yakk wrote:I wish there was a troll prevention mechanic that protected the top post on the page somehow.

It's even better that he complains about "the libruls" and then complains about an attempt to make money.

I have no problem with Randall making money. What I am saying is that I am not going to go Oh me yarm WOW RANDALL YOU PUT SO MUCH EFFORT INTO THIS when it's his job. I am sure it took a long time, but nobody tells me "Wow, I'm so impressed by your dedication, you worked an entire eight hour shift today!"

If you think I'm trolling then please point out what part of my post you think is incorrect because I genuinely want to discuss it with you. The liberal thing was a bit of a cheap shot at Randall's politics, I admit, but it is true that the people making that particular stupid claim tend to be a certain political persuasion, and I can only see the formatting of the chart as an attempt to make that point.

mindstalk
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby mindstalk » Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:46 pm UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:It cracks me up that so many people have posted the typos/errata they discovered, and so few mentioned that not many of us could have done this much work in such a short amount of time without a similar number of screw-ups.


What short amount of time? He could have been working on this for as long as it takes, not whipping it out over the weekend. And there's making mistakes, and then there's proofreading to catch your mistakes. If he whipped it out without proofreading, we can criticize his poor planning and sloppiness.

I find it both hilarious and sad that there are two types of people on this thread: those who praise Randall for his effort to work his tail off and provide us with all this fascinating info, usually without questioning any of the data, and those who slam him for being a servant of the "leftists" while conveniently forgetting that the folks on the "right" side of the spectrum are just as likely as those on the "left" to skew, misrepresent, and lie to get people to buy into their messages.


By my estimate a plurality if not majority of posts has been people who like the thing but have been pointing out the multitudinous errors. I only remember a couple of posts ranting about liberals or leftists. But it's harder to feel superior to that sort of population.

phthophth
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:14 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby phthophth » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:21 pm UTC

My original post was a link to the page on the P*litzer Pr*ze Web site which tells you how to apply. It was meant as a compliment to a great comic which is also a serious piece of journalism. It was rejected on the following basis:

The following reason was given for the disapproval:

The reported message has the only purpose to advertise for a website or
another product.


Uh...sorry. Still, I do think that the P*litzer people should see it. I apologize for giving them free publicity. However, my message did not have "the only purpose" to advertise the existence of the prize, but also to express the esteem in which I hold xkcd in general and this amazing chart in particular.

p.s.: My original post was snappier. I thought Mr. Munroe would appreciate it. He didn't. That's OK I suppose; I don't always "get" his comics, either.

User avatar
thc
Posts: 643
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby thc » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:25 am UTC

edit: nevermind!

ArdentIngot
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:17 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby ArdentIngot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:36 am UTC

I'm sure it's been noted, but the Food bit in the Dollars area, regarding a meal for four people is wayyyyyyyyy off.

Two hours of shopping for beans and rice would net me enough beans and rice for many many years. I'd have to stop shopping at about 24 minutes because that's all the rice and beans my car could carry.

Instead, if I shop for 2 hours, I would come out with 3 weeks worth of dry goods and a week of fresh perishables. So we gotta divide up that shopping over 62 meals, as the only time I eat out is when I go to town to shop for food, else it would be 63 meals.

Any reference to meals prepared at home have to be looked at that way. Also, that rice and bean base price is providing 3 meals to that family of four, or you shop in midtown manhattan.

My family spends about $120 a week on grub, but for that and our efforts preparing it, we eat like kings 24/7/365, much better than most restaurant fare. The only attraction a restaurant has for me anymore is that it's nice when no one in the family or at the meal is preparing or cleaning.

We could earn more dollars if we traded in our ways for processed food / take out / delivery / restaurant, but it would be a serious health and standard of living downgrade. Besides, I only work 5-6 hours a day anyway, spouse too, so we got tim for cooking and childcare.

disclaimer: We work at home, have productive gardens, have barter and trade available from local farmers, and spent many years in the big city brunching and dining in cool joints before moving out here to do it better than that. Totally loved it, but lifestyle changes must be upgrades or what's the fukin point?

ArdentIngot
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:17 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby ArdentIngot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:39 am UTC

Ghandi 2 wrote:
Telchar wrote:
Yakk wrote:I wish there was a troll prevention mechanic that protected the top post on the page somehow.

It's even better that he complains about "the libruls" and then complains about an attempt to make money.

I have no problem with Randall making money. What I am saying is that I am not going to go Gee Willikers WOW RANDALL YOU PUT SO MUCH EFFORT INTO THIS when it's his job. I am sure it took a long time, but nobody tells me "Wow, I'm so impressed by your dedication, you worked an entire eight hour shift today!"

If you think I'm trolling then please point out what part of my post you think is incorrect because I genuinely want to discuss it with you. The liberal thing was a bit of a cheap shot at Randall's politics, I admit, but it is true that the people making that particular stupid claim tend to be a certain political persuasion, and I can only see the formatting of the chart as an attempt to make that point.


Creative work is like that, further explanation is derivative and if you are trolling you really gotta work on your moves.

jwolverton
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:46 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby jwolverton » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:32 am UTC

There's a typo in "Advanced Combined Cycle Natural Gas" - it shows:
$78,10z0,000,000
instead of
$78,100,000,000

(extra z.)

Wilhelm
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:33 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Wilhelm » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:08 am UTC

Saudi Aramco could buy everyone in the world 1200 cokes and still be worth more than Apple.
Where I sell a limited range of unofficial merchandise:

http://www.cafepress.com/from_the_internet

akf2000
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:03 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby akf2000 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:18 am UTC

can someone tell me what the carry-on suitcase full of $100 bills is supposed to indicate?

benthicity
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:58 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby benthicity » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:21 am UTC

On the "Value of an investment of $1000/year" section, which I stumbled over at first too:

The "Real Value: $27,370" is counterintuitive but correct. The catch is that the $30k investment is not all invested in present-day dollars, so f you calculate it out, the real cost of this investment is just $20,188 in today's dollars. In other words, you do end up "making money". This should probably be mentioned in the chart for clarity.

On the flip side: The "30,000 saved in mattress for 30 years" example assumes that all $30k is placed there on day one, rather than stashed at intervals over the course of 30 years. If the "investment" were spread out over time, as in the bank example, then the "investment cost" would also be $20,188, not $30k as shown in the chart. Again, perhaps this should be mentioned or corrected.

Nitpickily,
Ben

EdgarHarris
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:19 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby EdgarHarris » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:22 am UTC

In the Trillions section you have 3 too many zero's for the Federal Government.
Fantastic Visualization though. I absolutely love it.

Brysonic
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:53 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Brysonic » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:06 am UTC

I was confused as to where "cost to teach the world to sing" came from and why it was beside "cost to buy the world a coke". Then it I realized that he's probably referencing the Smash Mouth song Walking On The Sun which goes:
It ain't no joke I'd like to buy the world a toke
And teach the world to sing in perfect harmony


I'm assuming Randall misheard 'toke' as 'Coke'. Coca Cola could still probably buy everyone in the world marijuana, though. Amazing graphic all the same :-).

ashbur83
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:17 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby ashbur83 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:52 am UTC

1. Is the cost to give every U.S. 18-year-old a degree at a community college really identical to the cost to fund all U.S. schools (presumably K-12) at magnet school levels?

2. In billions, a box is described as one billion but Ethanol subsidies is said to be $5 billion, but has only four boxes.

3. In "Unlike federal taxes, state taxes are regressive - the poor pay a higher percentage of their income than the rich. This is because sales taxes, a large component of state revenues, fall disproportionately on the poor." Isn't the latter half redundant?

4. In millions there is no space between "by" and "Bill Gates" for Leonardo's Codex Leicester.

5. In box office revenue, some specificity would be appreciated. That is you appear focused on domestic numbers, I would suggest stating that if you choose to stick with them. Although worldwide numbers may give that "bigger picture" perspective that this chart deserves; Avatar did exceptionally well worldwide. Almost $3 billion.

6. In box office revenue I don't believe Gone With the Wind has managed $3.15 billion. I checked your sources and I think I know how you arrived at the number, you took the gross given by the site and adjusted for inflation from 1939. Here's the problem with the approach: in 1939, the gross for Gone With the Wind was $20 million with $945,000 in its first weekend. Now that's about $326 million and $15.4 million respectively today, so it was still pretty incredible. The movie saw a number of re-releases, including $11 million in in 1941 and $4 million in 1942 - it even had a release in 1998, which pushed the overall total up.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:55 am UTC

thesingingaccountant wrote:I found something no one else has mentioned yet! Under Billions > Individual Tax Deductions, there are two headings marked "State and local tax," with two vastly different figures. I have no clue which one represents actual state and local tax, and I have no clue what the other figure might represent. I'm proud to say that my accounting expertise does not include more than the most basic understanding of the US tax code. ;-)

It's possible that one of them may be meant to be "State tax" and the other "local tax". There are three bodies collecting tax from anyone in any incorporated city in the US: the federal government, their state, and their local municipal government.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

October
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:26 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby October » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:30 am UTC

My conclusion: If half or even a quarter went to science, invention, and medical advances, we could all live for ever by now and travel to outer space.
I'd like to see that chart.. if all the money went to good use chart!

elessia
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:10 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby elessia » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:15 am UTC

I haven't read all 5 or 8 pages of comments, but I must remark this, just in case no one else has. The graphical representations vs amnts listed are off on a LOT of these. Ones where most are 35 16 29 ect but only one in the single or teens, and therefore unable to confuse with another number in the general vicinity. For someone who studies mathematics, and also knows the importance of things matching, I would not buy this poster unless this was either corrected or had a squigly graph line added to indicate they are not supposed to match.

Mardeg
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:03 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Mardeg » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:18 am UTC

I noticed the javascript heavy image viewer for zooming doesn't have a CSS3/HTML5 fallback. I did one for 0657: "Movie Narrative Charts" just yesterday that worked quite well, but of course it's limited to modern browsers only :/
Last edited by Mardeg on Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:35 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Vavrek
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:25 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Vavrek » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:29 am UTC

akf2000 wrote:can someone tell me what the carry-on suitcase full of $100 bills is supposed to indicate?


The example has thirty thousand $100 bills stuffed into a suitcase: $3 million. If you do that today, it's $3 million in 2011 dollars. If you did that thirty years ago, and then adjusted for inflation, the relative value of the money in the suitcase is higher. I think of it as a clue to help interpreting movies: if somebody in a film from this year has a suitcase packed full of $100 bills, we think "Oh, that's a few million dollars." If we see the same thing in a movie from 1970, the thought should be "Holy crap, that's twenty million dollars (in today's money)."

(Note, also, that the figure given for "Amount needed to live comfortably off investments" is just a hair over $4m. Somebody in 1970 with a suitcase full of cash, if they had a way to launder it all, could easily live the rest of their life in luxury on that alone.)


My contribution to the error-spotting (haven't seen mentioned yet): The size of the graphic for "Current Eurozone bailout fund" doesn't match the number given. I haven't followed that news closely, so I don't know whether the graphic or the number is more accurate. The number is $194.62bn, while the graphic shows something in excess of $1.2 trillion. (I assume the trillion figure is the accurate one.)

noodlenorm
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:17 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby noodlenorm » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:56 am UTC

Just a comment about the energy section...

I can't put my finger on it, but there is something fishy about the numbers on this chart when comparing different types of generation. Natural gas is shown as the cheapest type of generation, but I work for a large utility, and I know that natural gas costs us at least 20% more per MW-hour than coal. We generally only use it for peak loads. We also own nuclear, hydro, wind, and solar generation. The numbers for hydro also seem high, and the numbers for wind seem low.

The source is based on DOE data for new plants entering service in 2016. Check out the Wikipedia article "Cost of electricity by source" The DOE chart on this page is the same data Randall used for the money chart.

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10546
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:13 am UTC

October wrote:My conclusion: If half or even a quarter went to science, invention, and medical advances, we could all live for ever by now and travel to outer space.
I'd like to see that chart.. if all the money went to good use chart!


That assumes that every additional dollar is just as effective as the initial dollars. Science doesn't exactly work as "purchase discovery X for 3 billion dollars".

ijuin
Posts: 1148
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby ijuin » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:32 am UTC

callmeindy wrote:I looked at the sources, but I couldn't figure out how he figured out the total economic output of the human race. Anyone have a source for that?

Thanks,


I'm not too sure either, beyond simply taking GDP figures as far back as records exist and using estimates for eras before that.

Anyway, GDP fails as a measure of economic output because it only counts those things that are traded and not those that are consumed by the producer. For example, if Bob grows corn and Dan grows potatoes, and each of them eats his own crop, there is no trading going on and no contribution to GDP. However, if Bob trades his corn for Dan's potatoes, then there is trading going on and it contributes to GDP. Thus, all unpaid labor and un-traded products are "off the grid".

On the other hand, the phantom double loans between the parties in the credit-swap activities (where since both parties are "lending" the same amount to each other, they don't have to actually possess the principle, only the interest money), can artificially inflate GDP figures because it shows up as both a debit and a credit on both parties' balance sheets. In short, GDP counts only things that have changed nominal owners.

This becomes highly significant for estimating the productivity of pre-industrial societies because in such societies the majority of the population are producing their own food (and often their own clothing and housing as well). This is how people in the Third World can live on a few hundred dollars a year--because they are not purchasing everything that they consume.

User avatar
J L
Posts: 242
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:03 am UTC
Location: Germany
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby J L » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:47 am UTC

Ichneumon_dc wrote:
tl;dr

[Your numbers are ALL WRONG and designed to mislead us, but nobody knows THE TRUTH!]



Propaganda Schmopaganda.

Your CEO is to be applauded if he's really the fair and responsible guy you describe. Nobody says everyone running a company is a criminal. Nobody here calls for class war. Get over it.

But if there are any CEOs at all earning 275 times what they pay their average workers, it's included in this chart with good reason. Replace "average" with "top-earners" if it helps you sleep better. Makes no difference to me at all.

jmcclaskey
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby jmcclaskey » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:05 am UTC

I'll say again: great effort - and results. But in the Billions space, in the box labeled "Stimulus Spending", there is no explicit dollar figure attached to the graphical representation of "Other Spending".

mippy
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:26 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby mippy » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:41 am UTC

benthicity wrote:On the "Value of an investment of $1000/year" section, which I stumbled over at first too:

The "Real Value: $27,370" is counterintuitive but correct. The catch is that the $30k investment is not all invested in present-day dollars, so f you calculate it out, the real cost of this investment is just $20,188 in today's dollars. In other words, you do end up "making money". This should probably be mentioned in the chart for clarity.

On the flip side: The "30,000 saved in mattress for 30 years" example assumes that all $30k is placed there on day one, rather than stashed at intervals over the course of 30 years. If the "investment" were spread out over time, as in the bank example, then the "investment cost" would also be $20,188, not $30k as shown in the chart. Again, perhaps this should be mentioned or corrected.

Nitpickily,
Ben


Take a look at your first calculation again. Remember that it is earning 5% interest and losing 3% of that to inflation, giving you an inflation-adjusted real interest rate of 2%. The fact that you've come up with the same amount whether you earn 5% or 0% should raise a red flag.

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Yakk » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:54 pm UTC

A step by step model of investing 1000$ (in paper dollars) per year, for 30 years. We start the plan tonight, and the first payment is deposited 1 year from today.

We'll calculate the "paper dollar" value of the investment (ie, how much physical cash you could turn it into, as opposed to inflation-adjusted value) after 30 years, then we'll account for inflation. Interest is 5%, inflation is 3%.

You'll agree that the paper dollar value in 30 years of this scheme equals this:
1000 * 1.05^29 + 1000 * 1.05^28 + ... + 1000 * 1.05^1 + 1000
I hope.

I'll use a relatively identity which holds for x!=1:
(1-x^(n+1))/(1-x) = 1+x+...+x^(n-1)+x^n

So
1000 * 1.05^29 + 1000 * 1.05^28 + ... + 1000 * 1.05^1 + 1000
= 1000 * ( 1-1.05^30 ) / (1-1.05)
= 1000 * ( 1 - 4.3219423751506620091572881988865 ) / ( -.05 )
= 1000 * 20 * 3.3219423751506620091572881988865
= 66438.85$ in paper currency after 30 years.

Now, we'll discount this paper money by 30 years of inflation. This is simple -- we simply divide by 1.03^30:
66438.85 / 1.03^30 = 27371.93
which is exactly(?) the value in the chart.

...

Now, if we where to increase the value of the money we put into the plan by inflation every year, we'd be in a different situation. In that case, the easiest method to solve the problem is to work in inflation adjusted dollars, and we get 1000 * (1 - 1.02^30 ) / (1 - 1.02) = 40568.08$ in inflation-adjusted money after 30 years. But this is a different situation than the one described.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
willpellmn
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 11:05 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby willpellmn » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:28 pm UTC

It hardly needs to be said anymore, but for the record, this was an amazing XKCD, which I have only now found the time to fully appreciate. I'm impressed that this comments thread hasn't exceeded its 8th page in the time it took me to read (well, skim) it all. With a slight detour courtesy of Steve the Pocket linking to Cracked.com. (I want my two hours back! Well okay, no I don't, I just want two more in their place while keeping the stitches I put myself in from seeing a cat in a washing machine and learning that putting a ferret down your pants is a professional sport.)

Six things I discovered from reading this comic:
1. Bitcoins
2. The Golden Opulence sundae (although I may have heard of this before and just repressed the traumatic memory).
3. Carlisle Cullen (apparently Twilight is even tweenier than I realized)
4. The EPA value of a human life. $8.4M sounds about right to me.
5. How little difference I as an individual can make in the operating budget of Wikipedia. (Yes I know that the theory is for everyone to do their part; that's not what I'm talking about.)

Things I still don't understand but am interested enough to ask about
1. The John Kerry 87 billion "voted for/against" - Wikipedia doesn't reference anything of the sort, what did I miss?
2. Dot CSV files - what program can open them?

phthophth wrote:My original post was a link to the page on the P*litzer Pr*ze Web site which tells you how to apply.


Why are we censoring P*litzer?

User avatar
Yakk
Poster with most posts but no title.
Posts: 11129
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2007 7:27 pm UTC
Location: E pur si muove

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Yakk » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

Dot csv is "comma separated value" usually.

Many spreadsheet apps (like openoffice calc) should open them. So will text editors.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

Last edited by JHVH on Fri Oct 23, 4004 BCE 6:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Murderbot
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:29 am UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Murderbot » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:59 pm UTC

BuddyBoombox wrote:Though, that might depend on whether you include only the allied losses or the enemies' losses as well.
It's called the EPA value of human life, not "allied" life (whatever the fuck that means).
thesingingaccountant wrote:I find it both hilarious and sad that there are two types of people on this thread: those who praise Randall for his effort to work his tail off and provide us with all this fascinating info, usually without questioning any of the data, and those who slam him for being a servant of the "leftists" while conveniently forgetting that the folks on the "right" side of the spectrum are just as likely as those on the "left" to skew, misrepresent, and lie to get people to buy into their messages.

If people get pissed off about this graph, claiming it's "leftist", wouldn't that mean that the truth is "left"?
Last edited by Murderbot on Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:11 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
thesingingaccountant
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:18 pm UTC
Location: My trusty tablet, most likely

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby thesingingaccountant » Wed Nov 23, 2011 3:19 pm UTC

Murderbot wrote:
thesingingaccountant wrote:I find it both hilarious and sad that there are two types of people on this thread: those who praise Randall for his effort to work his tail off and provide us with all this fascinating info, usually without questioning any of the data, and those who slam him for being a servant of the "leftists" while conveniently forgetting that the folks on the "right" side of the spectrum are just as likely as those on the "left" to skew, misrepresent, and lie to get people to buy into their messages.

If people get pissed off about this graph, claiming it's "leftist", wouldn't that mean that the truth is "left"?


*shrug* I dunno. But if the truth is "left," does that mean that "right" is wrong?

Dammit, I think I gave myself a mild headache. This is why I try to stay away from both right and left (not that I always succeed).
Never trust a psychic who has to reschedule.

Webzter
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:16 pm UTC
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Webzter » Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:50 pm UTC

Brysonic wrote:I was confused as to where "cost to teach the world to sing" came from and why it was beside "cost to buy the world a coke". Then it I realized that he's probably referencing the Smash Mouth song Walking On The Sun which goes:
It ain't no joke I'd like to buy the world a toke
And teach the world to sing in perfect harmony


I'm assuming Randall misheard 'toke' as 'Coke'. Coca Cola could still probably buy everyone in the world marijuana, though. Amazing graphic all the same :-).


Smash Mouth was riffing on "I'd like to buy the world a Coke and teach the world so sing"

'70's Coke commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfU17niXOG8

Coca Cola has way more background on it than I think most people would care to read: http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/heri ... lltop.html

need4speed
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:22 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby need4speed » Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:59 pm UTC

It is a great truth - that for a lot of these speculative "if" things - like:
"if the US paid for everyone's college education" - the education market, if unregulated, would simply jack the f*ck their expenses up. Hey - wouldn't you, if someone offered YOU a blank check? And our blind worship of the "free market" says, "no, we can't dictate how much they charge for stuff, we can't run their lives, or get into their faces on how they staff and bill for services. . . " (etc) - - because that, My Gentlemen, would be COMMUNISM!!! EEEK! Can't have THAT! (okay - my mocking of mindless rightwing McCarthyite jackholes is finished).

So - yes, a lot of these estimates are kind of difficult to assert. Because depending on where the money comes from, and how much you buy, the market price fluctuates. This was the criticism of stuff like "Quantitative Easement" programs, where the Federal Government bought hundreds of billions of dollars of their own bonds, to prop up the bond market, and increase the monetary supply. Bond traders could depend on a strong bond market with this program going, and could "cash in" on it. Insider trading, without being insiders even. And you and I, and everyone who earns money in DOLLARS, or has savings in DOLLARS, or lives on a fixed income, takes it in the shorts. (I have nothing against increasing the monetary supply, in general, as a remedy, when cash is being hoarded by greedy bankers - but in practice, QE 1-through-7 ended up hurting most of us more than helping, in the way that Bernanke implemented it).

But I digress.

Let's talk about Saudi Aramco - and why they're so f*cking outrageously wealthy.
It's because they're sitting on the main reservoir of feedstock input to our economy. Oil. They not only control the ACTUAL production, by CHOOSING when and where to increase or decrease production. They also control market reserve estimates, by reporting what their reserves are - either honestly or dishonestly. Sort of like a poker player, who tells the other players. . . :"I've got fifteen aces in my hand." When he's actually only got two. Or . . . "I've got a Full House" when he's got a pair of threes, a seven a nine, and a jack. There are ways of confirming some of this, but not all of it, because Saudi Aramco (and other oil companies) can protect this information as proprietary trade secrets, and. . . in fact, nobody can peer through solid rock and see exactly what they've got.

So . . . regarding alternatives. MANY studies have been done, since Hubbert discovered Peak Oil theory in the 1950's, and it was borne-out in the 1970's, on the comparison of alternatives to fossil fuels. Let's focus on PV.

Oil converts to gasoline and diesel, which solves a lot of our very unique transportation problems in ways that NO other energy source can do with our current technology - and that's just a fact. We can substitute and supplement some of that with biofuels, and electrics, and others. But transportation is a HUGE component of our economy.

But natgas, coal, nuclear, as solutions to baseload electrical generation, and their safety and environmental impacts, stacked up against PV, have always looked ECONOMICALLY favorable.

Since the 1970's we've looked at the cost per kwh to produce PV panels, and we've seen those costs come down as efficiency goes up via technology improvements, and manufacturing technology also improves. But there's also been another factor - economy of scale, and labor costs, material costs, and FINANCING COSTS, market demand, and these factors were never really considered as fluctuating items. They can't be predicted month-to-month, let alone decade-to-decade. (these calculations also COMPLETELY F*CKING IGNORE the long-term negative ecological and health impacts and costs of natgas (fracking, agw), nuclear (waste), coal (waste, agw, mining, acid rain)). So, puzzlingly, even the most favorable PV comparisons have looked pretty awful.

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the future. A few years ago, it looked like the predictions for PV were showing that, even NOT considering the ecological and health (and tax subsidies) of natgas, coal, and nuclear, PV costs were coming down. And this was technology based (Moore's law benefits, not economy of scale, labor costs, material costs, financing costs). PV costs were PROJECTED to intersect with non-renewables by 2040.

This does not assume that financing costs aren't going to go up. Well, financing costs are, what they are - they are what some banker decides they are. And from a "lets have these two technologies compete" standpoint, that's not really a fair notion. Because when someone decides to loan a company a half million dollars to build a fab to manufacture PV cells, and give them a certain rate, and that rate is higher, than say, the rate they give BP to build a new oil tanker - - well, that's just a bunch of crap.

Which is why we now have a huge controversy over Solyndra getting a loan guarantee from the US DoE.
And then their panel prices were getting undercut because CHINA is subsidizing THEIR PV plants even MORE.
And now. . . China is complaining that their PV manufacturers are going broke because the US is dumping raw polysilicate material on the market and putting their producers out of business - - - so we're in a TRADE WAR with China, over PV panels.

Let's think about this now.
You put up a PV panel in the sunlight. It produces electricity. Some day, about 5-7 years later, depending on where you are, and how well you've used that electricity, that panel will "Break Even". (and how much that electricity was priced at - hell, ConEd can raise or lower the price of electricity - so WHO THE HELL KNOWS when that panel's going to break even?) - AFTER THIS TIME, THE PANEL WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY, ESSENTIALLY FOR EVER FOR FREE.

No barrel of oil, or lump of coal, will EVER do this.

So - what all these fancy economic analyses have FAILED to do, is determine what happens to the COST OF ELECTRICITY, on the day when a certain critical mass of PV panels breaks even. And electricity is essentially FREE. At that point, you can't produce any more panels, because they will never economically "break even" because they cost money to produce, but the electricity they produce, has no value, because its supply is theoretically infinite.

Yay! We broke the economy!

Of course there's "friction" and feedback in that system. I think that a lot more muscle needs to be applied to FINANCE RATES for building out PV infrastructure, for one. (there's plenty of muscle being applied to keep labor rates DOWN - in general, I think that's stupid, overall).

So - people tell me, that PV, as a technology sucks, because, it does not produce electricity when its dark out. This is true. This is a technical problem. Sort of like, an automobile engine only produces useful torque between about 1500 rpm and 4500 rpm, and can only drive a car up to about 20 miles an hour, before the engine starts to rev too fast and explode. The solution to "we need electricity at night" is not as simple as developing an automotive drive gearbox. It's a complicated problem, and no, I don't believe that hydroelectric reservoirs or giant batteries are going to be THE solution either. I don't really think that Dr. O'Neill's solution of "orbital PV power" will work either. But - - tell me --- do you believe that chewing-off mountain tops, and filling up lakes with coal fly ash is a good long-term solution? We can't DO that for ever. We can't do this sh*t for another 100 years.

I find it ironic as hell, that for years, we're being told that PV panels are too expensive to be competitive with fossil fuels as an energy source - and now, PV manufacturers are going bankrupt and defunct, because the market has suffered a price collapse? This is absolutely absurd. We obviously need energy. We're still paying money for feedstock (coal, oil, uranium).

Hell.

Someone GIVE me 3000 watts of panels; and (reasonably) finance a crew to install them on my rooftop. Excess electricity will be sold back to my local utility, and profits will pay off the loan. Why can't this happen? There is no *reasonable* financing available. APR rates are in excess of what profits from selling electricity would generate.

And essentially, money is printed out of nothing, in a fractional reserve banking system.

I ask: why can't this happen?

Look again at Saudi Aramco, and how much money they have. Obviously, they don't want to give that up.

User avatar
Ghandi 2
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:40 am UTC
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Ghandi 2 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:07 pm UTC

ArdentIngot wrote:Creative work is like that, further explanation is derivative and if you are trolling you really gotta work on your moves.

Creative license does not apply to a chart! And I am not trolling. Does anyone have an explanation for how that food section is not incredibly wrong?

And I like how I make one small reference to Randy's not secret political leanings and I (and the one other person who mentioned it) are raving teabaggers. :roll:

User avatar
tetsujin
Posts: 426
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:34 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby tetsujin » Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

gressc1 wrote:
the cost of a faux green dress not included??


As long as we're geeking out on Barenaked Ladies:
Monkey (haven't you always wanted a monkey?): $4000
Art:
Picasso - Most over a $1m so, I'm buying you a...
Garfunkel - (Front Center seats [priced from an upcoming March 2012 concert] for a year @ 76.75 per ticket) $28013


But it should be the price of Garfunkel we're considering - not his work, not tickets to his show. If you're buying some Art (Garfunkel) you're buying a person.
---GEC
I want to create a truly new command-line shell for Unix.
Anybody want to place bets on whether I ever get any code written?

loki130
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 5:48 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby loki130 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

NASA's estimate for the cost of production of antimatter is $62.5 trillion a gram. So there's that.

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5474
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

need4speed wrote:So - what all these fancy economic analyses have FAILED to do, is determine what happens to the COST OF ELECTRICITY, on the day when a certain critical mass of PV panels breaks even. And electricity is essentially FREE. At that point, you can't produce any more panels, because they will never economically "break even" because they cost money to produce, but the electricity they produce, has no value, because its supply is theoretically infinite.

Yay! We broke the economy!


The market price of electricity will only become free when solar panels supply all the electricity that's demanded. Just because some significant chunk of people are getting their electricity free doesn't mean that everybody magically does. So long as some people are still buying electricity from other sources, the market price of electricity will continue to be nonzero, and there will still be a "break-even" point for paying off solar panels that will encourage those people on other sources of electricity to make the switch. And once everyone's off non-solar sources, and everyone gets free electricity, who cares that there's no incentive to buy solar panels any more? We've all got them already!

Er, except when they break down. Still got to replace them every now and then, nothing lasts forever.

Or when we need more electricity than the current solar infrastructure provides.

But in those cases, you're not trading on the cost of a solar panel vs savings on other sources of power. You're trading the cost of a solar panel for an increase in the supply of electricity you have, or to maintain your supply of electricity. You're directly buying the good you're really interested in (or well, the means of producing it), and that's a perfectly viable market structure that will continue to provide an incentive for more solar panels to be built.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

mactyr
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby mactyr » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

First off: this is absolutely awesome and I'm happy to help crowdsource the editing. :) A few comments:

1) I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned -- maybe I'm just stupid today -- but it's not clear to me what the escalating bar chart with the timeline at the bottom (in the Trillions section) is supposed to represent. It's sort of floating between sections on debt, assets and GDP/total economic production, and it seems to me that it could be any of those things. Could you add a label that says what's being charted there?

2) Echoing a previous commenter, I study energy and find the assertion that combined-cycle natural gas is 25% cheaper than coal (not including externalities) to be suspicious. It's hard to trace back to exactly what your sources were using the .csv, but I wonder if the assumptions about gas prices are overly optimistic? I don't have time at the moment but I may try to track down some sources to compare against. (I'm no fan of coal, but it is cheap if you don't account for externalities.)

3) I'm a graduate student and would love to order the poster for my department's study area; I think it'd be a hit. I'd probably splurge and spend $60 on the larger version, but $150 is too much for me. I'm sure you have reasons for pricing the way you do, just want you to know you'd have at least one additional customer at the lower price point!

Edit: Well, I learned something new today. In California (which I'm most familiar with) coal power is cheaper than combined-cycle gas, but this is apparently not the case everywhere; some studies find combined-cycle gas to be cheaper, others coal, with the majority leaning towards gas cheaper. Apparently I can't post links since I haven't reached five posts yet; if you're interested in following up, the wikipedia article "Cost of electricity by source" is a good place to start.

Also, am I really the only one who can't tell what the big timeline chart in Trillions is showing? If I'm just being dense can someone spell it out for me so I can sleep at night? :|
Last edited by mactyr on Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

mindstalk
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:47 pm UTC

Re: 0980: "Money"

Postby mindstalk » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:09 am UTC

'"if the US paid for everyone's college education" - the education market, if unregulated, would simply jack the f*ck their expenses up. Hey - wouldn't you, if someone offered YOU a blank check? And our blind worship of the "free market" says, "no, we can't dictate how much they charge for stuff,"

Third alternative: government offers $20,000/student, say, to private universities, on the condition that they charge no other fees or tuition. Dodges both simply raising prices in response to greater demand and outright nationalization.

As for electricity, or any energy, ever being free, probably not; it's the ultimate fungible resource, too useful for everything, and panels suffer mechanical breakage or chemical decay (migration of impurities, say. Also need to clean dust off them and such.)


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 38 guests